After extensive research, we have concluded that the Limelight 2-4P is the best Marmot tent.
If you’ve taken a stroll through your local sports shop or even browsed online, you’ve probably encountered Marmot.
But now you’re here asking, are Marmot tents any good? We can tell you with confidence that Marmot deserves their spot among the top brands of tent makers. What’s more, their tents come at a much more affordable price than some of their counterparts.
Marmot is a great brand to try if you’re just getting into camping and want to invest in a solid piece of gear. And they’re equally worthy of a more experienced camper who simply needs a mid-price upgrade.
Since they’re a well-established brand in the outdoors scene, there was a wealth of information available for our team’s research. Maybe…a little too much information!
Never fear, because as always, our team did the hard work of condensing all that knowledge for you.
We spent hours poring over user reviews, articles, videos, and spec sheets to develop this list of the 7 best Marmot tents.
Best overall: Limelight 2-4P
Best Marmot tents for hiking and backpacking:
- Limelight 2-4P — a perfect middle-ground tent for all skill levels and several group sizes
- Agate 2P — authentic ultralight, minimalist shelter for shaving off weight
- Tungsten 4P — basic model for mid-sized groups on a casual camping trip
Best Marmot tents for car camping:
- Catalyst 3P — tough floor can accommodate pets
- Halo 4P — comparable space to a larger, heavier car camping tent without an oversized floor
- Limestone 4-8P — ridiculous amount of interior room for lounging around on fair-weather trips
Best Marmot tents for extreme weather:
- Thor 3P — extremely durable build withstands the harshest of conditions
Do you want to know a little more about the brand before diving right into our top picks? If so, have a look at our Marmot blurb, where we provide an overview of the Marmot brand and quality.
Best for: hikers of nearly any skill level looking for a versatile, hardy tent with enough room to spread out but at a reasonable weight and price; $$
Are you looking for your first tent? Or maybe you’re a seasoned hiker ready to upgrade to a fine new piece of gear? Then give the Limelight 2-4P Tent with Footprint a shot. After conducting some thorough research, this little beauty became one of my personal favorites.
This tent offers something for everyone. It has the space any camper wants, the durability and manageable weight of a backcountry tent, and a price that makes it accessible to most budgets.
At 5lbs, it’s a little heavy to be a backpacking tent, but I say that from the perspective of a lightweight backpacker. For most hikers, packing this thing will be a breeze! However, the 3P and 4P options start getting heavier, weighing 6lbs and 8.5lbs respectively.
And of course, keep in mind that as the capacity increases, so does the price. For this reason, we would recommend the 2P as the best overall value.
Regardless of which size you choose, you’ll be able to kick back and relax in comfort.
Inside, the 2P offers a 43” peak height and 33sq ft, enough to comfortably sit upright and just barely fit a full-size bed. The 3P and 4P can fit a queen and king bed, respectively.
For all models, campers have agreed the Limelight feels bigger than their specs. This is because the tent poles are strategically pre-bent at shoulder-height, providing vertical walls.
Why should you care? Because normally, you’d need to sit near the middle, which is traditionally the tallest point in a tent.
But now, you or your camping buddy can sit anywhere inside without bumping your heads into the ceiling or walls.
All that said, living space comfort is one thing. But will you remain dry when the weather turns soggy?
Well, as it turns out, the Limelight has been tried and tested by a diverse range of campers in all types of conditions. The one that particularly struck me was the user who said this tent withstood 60mph midwest winds during a storm on the open plains!
As someone who barely managed to drive through such a windstorm, a backpacking tent holding its own through those conditions is astonishing.
- Extremely roomy, even the 2P; relax, merry-make, and don’t worry about bonking your head into the ceiling with roomy peak heights
- Footprint included to protect your tent floor; spend less time worrying about possible rocky ground in your campsite and more time having fun
- Weatherproof; withstood 60mph winds, 1,500mm waterproof rating
- Easy setup; tent attaches to poles via clips, eliminating finicky tent pole sleeves
- Friendly price makes this an accessible choice for beginning campers
- If you’re camping in extreme temperatures, you may notice a bit of condensation
Best for: ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers who require the lightest, most minimal shelter; $
Maybe you hardcore backpackers and peakbaggers are so eager to reduce weight that you’ve wished you could ditch half your tent. Well, now you can with the Marmot Agate 2P.
Really, why carry a whole tent when you’re comfortable with a simple roof to keep the elements off you? The 13oz Agate is basically just that: steep A-frame-shaped walls come together into a steep roof.
At a weight like that, the Agate is ultralight in every way – you won’t be needing those small details like a floor or fancy mesh walls.
In fact, you’ll have to bring your own footprint (tarp) if you don’t want to plant your sleeping bag on bare dirt.
Inside, the Agate has a listed peak height of 42” and 35sq of floor space. While this is probably fine if you’re going solo, it will be interesting when two people try to sit upright at the same time. Why? The steep walls pitch in and make the tent feel less roomy and spacious.
Initially, this seems like a bad thing, right? Before jumping to conclusions, consider that the steep, sloping walls encourage rain runoff. Meanwhile, other tents can struggle with rain pooling on the roof.
Keep in mind that the Agate is pitched using trekking poles, which provide 90% of the structure. This means that your area and peak height can vary slightly depending on the angle of the poles.
Also, because you…ya’ know…have no floor, this tent is best for fair-weather camping. You’d better be pretty dedicated to minimalism, because sacrificing a floor comes with a lot of implications.
Even if you do go buy a footprint, bugs will have free rein to come in and out through the conspicuous gap between the footprint and the tent walls. And if it rains even a little, you’re going to get wet. Not from the tent, but from the dampness (or mud!) on the ground.
That said, the Agate would be perfect for campsites (especially on the Appalachian Trail) that have dedicated tent platforms. Pitch your floorless tent on these raised wooden structures to remain dry and off the ground.
- True ultralight weight; 13oz perfect for long-distance expeditions in the backcountry
- Spacious for the weight; 35 sq ft inside with a comfortable 42” peak height
- The steeply angled walls encourage rain run off instead of rain build up and leaks, keeping you dry when it rains
- Manages to include interior mesh pockets for storage
- No tent floor; bugs and water will get inside; water can at least be mitigated if you can pitch on a dedicated platform
- Might not be the best for 2 people
- Not the best for extreme conditions camping
Best for: groups of 1-3 casual car campers who need a spacious do-everything tent and are willing to pay more to get it; $$$
If you’re going on a laid-back camping trip with a few friends, pick up the Tungsten Limelight 4P Tent, full stop. This tent has become a darling among Marmot’s lineup for its ease of use, functionality, and versatility.
The Tungsten utilizes another signature of the Marmot brand: a lot of their tents’ poles are pre-bent near the bottom half of the tent.
This matters because the pre-bends force the walls outwards just a little bit more, giving you added room. In turn, the lower half of the walls become essentially vertical and more spacious at the corners.
Speaking of space, you get a lot of it! Inside, there’s a 52” peak height and a 93×82” floor plan, or 53 sq ft. That’s more than enough room for the advertised four people to sit up comfortably.
However, when it comes to sleeping four, many users have said that it felt too tight. Thus, we suggest this tent for groups at or under 3 for maximum comfort.
With a 7lb weight, this tent is ideal for short-distance hikes or car camping. But when you think about the space you’re getting, this weight is to be expected.
One way Marmot’s kept the weight reasonably low is through the generous use of mesh. 50% of the tent – including the roof – is all mesh. So if you keep the fly off or even rolled back, you’ll be treated to some truly awesome views at night.
And not to worry when the weather gets bad. The Tungsten is prepared to handle most conditions that three-season camping can brew up. With the bathtub floor, taped seams, and a waterproof rating between 1,500-2,000mm, you’ll remain dry even when it storms.
But don’t take my word for it – campers have called this tent “a boss” when the weather turns soggy.
Even when waiting out a storm, users have said that the inside stays ventilated. They haven’t been plagued with condensation problems typical of some lesser tents either.
With all these bells and whistles, you may think it’s going to be a pain to assemble. Instead, setup takes less than 10 minutes.
Simply attach the tent to the poles with clips instead of using those finicky pole sleeves. The fly is attached at the pole corners. No stakes or lines are really required in fair weather, making this suitable for those lazier campers (like myself!) who want a quick, painless setup.
- More than enough room for 3 people; 52” peak height and near vertical walls for spaciousness, plus 53 sq ft of floor space
- Exceptional bad-weather performance: keeps water out, holds up in wind, and remains ventilated
- 2 vestibules and 2 doors
- Includes footprint to protect the floor
- Mesh ceiling for beautiful views
- Stakes aren’t the best quality; consider picking up a new set at your local sports shop
- Could be considered a bit expensive by some
Best for: 1-2 Campers who want to bring along a furry friend for a mild, short-term camping trip; $$
If you’re desperate for your canine companion to join your camping adventures, consider the Catalyst 3P. Numerous couples and individuals have attested to the durable floor which can handle the “scrtch-scrtchh” of little claws without tearing.
With a floor made of 68D polyester taffeta, you might not think that’s an incredibly high denier. But don’t get too attached to specs. Multiple users have brought their dogs inside, yet reported no damage from significant dog-paw traffic.
So will you be cuddling a bit too close with your dog in an undersized tent? Not likely.
The Catalyst provides ample space for 1 or 2 people, where you’ll be treated to plenty of room to spread out in the 40sq ft living space.
When I say plenty of room…I really mean that! Repeatedly, campers have elected to bring their dogs inside the tent with them. There was enough room to hold 2 full sized adults and a 60lb dog – read: that is not a compact animal!
Not only do you get room for 2 and a furry friend, you also have space outside the tent.
The Catalyst is equipped with two vestibules. One at the main entrance is 9.5 sq ft, while the vestibule at the rear door measures 6.7sq ft. It’s not the biggest vestibules we’ve seen, but that’s more than enough for stashing packs and boots. You could likely cook inside the larger vestibule too.
Now, all that space and hardy material does come at a price.
In this case, that price is the extra weight. At 5.9lbs, it’s a little heavy to be advertising itself as a backpacking tent. However, it can be done, especially if several people split the weight, or if you’re not planning to hike a long way.
A larger issue for the Catalyst is the lack of vents in the rainfly. You’ll be perfectly fine in clear weather, thanks to the copious amounts of mesh on the walls. But when the sky opens up and the fly gets zipped shut, watch out for condensation.
Because of this, we’d recommend this tent for shorter trips on clear days, where you can keep that rainfly rolled away.
- Perfect for pets; hardy floor won’t be damaged by dog nails
- Spacious; 40sq ft area is plenty for 2 people and has even been tested with a 60lb dog!
- Two vestibules; reviewers have reported that their gear stays dry in the rain
- Friendly price point makes it an option for beginners and casual campers
- There are zero vents in the rainfly; most people advise leaving the fly cracked open during bad weather, or taking this tent out only when the forecast will be mild
Best for: 2-4 car campers or families who want a compact car camping tent that still provides a crazy amount of vertical space; $$$
If you’ve seen car camping tents, you know that a lot of them are huge. You can stand up straight while inside, but they’re heavy and sometimes unwieldy.
Consider taking a look at the Halo 4P, a car camping tent that manages to be more compact, while still providing enough vertical room so you don’t feel cramped.
How is this achieved? Well, the unique circular “halo” shape (from which this tent gets its name) provides nearly vertical walls. If you remember, we checked out some Marmot tents that also offer extra vertical space. But with those tents, the vertical starts at the bottom half of the tent.
The Halo, on the other hand, stands apart because the halo poles are actually above your head. So you get vertical walls essentially in the whole of the tent! No matter where you stand, you can take advantage of the 5’ peak height.
This tent also features a 96×96” floor plan. It’s convenient because arranging your sleeping gear just got so much easier. Now you don’t need to figure out the “long” or “short” sides of the tent so you can lay your sleeping bag (or bed) accordingly.
As if there wasn’t already enough room inside, the Halo is also equipped with a whopping 20 sq ft vestibule. At about 5×4’, that’s big enough to stash all your supplies. Or you could make it your outdoor cooking kitchen.
While inside, you can rest assured you’ll be safe from the elements. With an impressive 3,000mm waterproof rated floor and an 1,800mm rainfly, rain won’t drip in, nor will it seep up from the ground.
Keeping that in mind, because now we’re going to look at a weaker area in the Halo’s performance.
Earlier, we mentioned that the halo pole structure allows that vertical room. But it also lets rain puddle in the rainfly up against the poles. So basically, when you exit the tent after a storm, prepare for a mini rainshower.
Luckily, some users have said this can be solved. Simply guy out the fly until it’s so taut that the halo poles don’t poke into the fly.
- Unique circle “halo” shape ensures that the 5’ height can be felt throughout the tent, rather than in just one spot
- Large 20sq vestibule; shove all your stuff inside, or use as a camp kitchen
- Weatherproof specs have been reported to keep the rain off users while inside
- Mesh windows and doors can be left open for ventilation and views
- Rainfly has two vents; you won’t have condensation issues
- Multiple campers complained about surprise rain showers when exiting the tent; rain puddles near the halo poles
Best for: groups of car campers, families, and glampers between 4-8 who want an absolutely cavernous home-away-from-home for mild-weather camping; $$$
For you car campers and glampers, the Limestone series is your one-stop shop for casual camping trips.
It’s enormous, so you’ll have room to spread out. The mostly mesh construction means it’s highly breathable. And it’s easy to pitch so you can get back to having a blast and making memories.
The Limelight comes in three sizes: 4P, 6P, and 8P. With 60sq ft of floor space, the 4P has been reported by some users to be too small for 4. But if you have a smaller group, of course disregard that warning.
The 6P offers a whopping 83 sq ft of living space, or a 10×8’ floor plan. To bring some perspective, that’s enough to fit a king bed. Plus, you can stand up straight with a peak height of over 6’.
At that size and with the upper to mid-level price, we recommend the 6P as the best overall value to size ratio.
But just in case you’re interested and have a large group, the 8P is worth mentioning as well. This tent offers a massive 130sq ft space and a peak height only 1 inch greater than the 6P.
One of the more distinguishing features of the Limestone are the 2 funny looking “eyebrow-like” poles encircling two halves of the tent.
These poles help provide the extra lift needed for near-vertical walls to really bump up the amount of interior height. You’ll never feel cramped inside!
Besides the near-absurd amount of interior room, this tent is equipped with a 25sq ft vestibule. This also makes it the largest vestibule on our list. Never worry about gear storage with the Limestone 6P.
As far as weather specs go, the offerings are satisfactory. Even so, this probably isn’t going to be your go-to for bad weather. Campers have warned that winds will cause the poles to bend. I’m not talking about hurricane winds either; just the standard gusts that will accompany most thunderstorms.
For that reason, you’re better off leaving this one at home if the weather is going to be foul.
- Comes in 3 sizes so you can select a model best suited to your group
- Enormously spacious; the 6P has an 83 sq ft floor plan and a peak height of over 6’
- 25sq ft vestibule with another on the back
- Not the best for windy weather; the poles have been reported to bend
- The stuff sack is a little too tight for repacking the tent
Best for: groups under 3 who need the ultimate high-performance tent for mountaineering and all-season camping; $$$$
Are you a rugged adventurer who wants to embark on a trip to a challenging climate? Or maybe you’re just tired of seeing so many summer, mild-weather tents. Either way, the Thor 3P is the tent for you.
Hands down, the biggest appeal to the Thor 3P is its weather resistance. Consider this tent your own personal safe haven in the elements. From humid summers in Oklahoma to bitter wind and rain in Patagonia, it’s withstood everything Mother Nature can throw.
Clearly, this isn’t the tent for a summer stroll or an ultralight hike. At 10lbs, it’s way too overbuilt for that. But that weight comes from tough fabrics built to stand under strong winds, rains, and yes, even snow.
More weight is also added with the 6 poles that make up the tent frame. Now, 6 poles sounds like a lot, especially since most of Marmot’s tents manage a 2-4 pole structure. Honestly, I took one look at the mess of poles in the pictures and said, “that’ll be a disaster to assemble.”
Turns out, I’m wrong. Multiple reviewers have spoken about this tent’s simple pitch – it goes up in 10 minutes at most. So remember, don’t let yourself be scared off by intimidating-looking product photos!
Plus, there’s a reason for the extra poles. This structure provides extra strength and stability, keeping this tent firmly anchored down, even through the 50mph winds that one user mentioned.
Okay, now that I’ve waxed on about the Thor 3P’s impressive weather performance, let’s peek inside. After all, what use is staying dry waiting out storms if you’re going to be miserable in a claustrophobic space?
Thankfully, claustrophobia isn’t an issue. You can sit out any bad weather in spacious comfort on the 92×73” floor.
With a combined 47 sq ft of area, that’s more than enough room to spread out three sleeping bags. And – get this – you’ll still have room for all your bulky winter or climbing gear.
If that’s still not enough space for your stuff, consider the 12 sq ft vestibule. You can use this space for storage or as a covered shelter to cook in when the weather is raging.
- Amazingly tough for camping in any weather; resounding reviews agree that it’s withstood the harshest of conditions
- Durable fabrics, taped seams, and bathtub floor add to its strength and water resistance
- 6 pole frame holds up under wind and snow weight while still being relatively easy to pitch
- Plenty of space for sheltering from stormy weather; 47sq and 3’6 peak height
- 12 sq ft vestibule for cooking or storage
- 2 vents; breathable even in summer conditions or with the fly on
- Spectacular insulation; 20 degrees warmer inside during blizzards while remaining cool during desert heat
- Its price will likely deter all but the most serious mountaineers and adventurers
About Marmot Tents
Marmot tents are easily among the “big three” of tent manufacturers, with the two others being Big Agnes and MSR. Similar to these older and well-established brands, Marmot began in 1974.
As such, they’ve had decades to experiment with different materials, production methods, and how to best bring it all together at a mid-level cost.
For the weight and space you get, Marmot brings a lot of value to everyone from the beginner camper to the seasoned hiker ready for an upgrade.
They aren’t the cheapest tents available, but their mid-range price tags don’t catapult them into a premier tier either.
One way that Marmot achieves more attainable prices is that they don’t use ultralight materials or cutting-edge technology that allows for pound-shedding. So if you’re an ultralight hiker, consider looking elsewhere.
In actuality, Marmot only offers one model for ultralighters: the Agate 2P. Otherwise their backpacking tents tend to hover around 6-8lbs.
Ultimately, Marmot tents are among the upper echelons of quality. Yet their competitive prices appeal to a wider variety of campers than some of the more premier brands.
Are Marmot Tents Waterproof?
Equipped with mid-range waterproof ratings that tend to be a minimum of 1,500mm and seam-taped floors, Marmot tents are highly waterproof and ready to handle the elements.
A lot of their tents are sold with an included footprint which is basically a custom-fitted tarp that goes under your tent. It’s commonly understood in the camping world that footprints are a great secondary layer of weather protection. It prevents rainwater and general unpleasant dampness from coming up through the floor.
That Marmot will include this footprint with their tents speaks to their commitment to a dry, fun camping experience for all.
And more importantly, users agree that they have earned it.
Aside from a few reports of spotting where rain blew in under the fly, Marmot campers have happily sat out many storms. These tents have seen rain, thunderstorms, and even the 3 season tents have handled snow, all while staying 99% dry.
We hope this article has given you a bit more of an in-depth look at the quality of Marmot tents.
In conclusion, we recommend the Limelight 2-4P as our top Marmot pick. We especially favor the 2P, for its size, weight, and value ratios.
With three different sizes to choose from, the Limelight offers something for every camper and group size. It’s light enough to be a casual hiking tent, while the larger capacity models are roomy enough to car camp in ample comfort.
This tent isn’t fragile and can hold its own when the weather turns foul. Never fuss over the forecast again.
Overall, we find that the Limelight has everything all in one package. It’s truly the best value for almost any camper.